HC Deb 04 February 1957 vol 564 cc5-6W
56. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a detailed statement on the steps he has taken to date to secure peace in Egypt and the Middle East and the result of those steps.

90. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he is taking to ensure that the United Nations discharges the responsibility it has assumed for preventing Egyptian raids against Israeli territory from the Gaza strip and for preventing Egyptian interference with ships entering or leaving the Gulf of Aqaba.

109. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action has been taken by Her Majesty's Government to bring about United Nations occupation of the gun sites at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.

113. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what proposals he has made to the United Nations with a view to making it impossible for Fedayeen or other armed intruders, trained by Egypt, to be sent into Israel from adjoining territories, including the Gaza strip, and for Israeli or other shipping to be interfered with in the Gulf of Aqaba; and what is the present position on these matters.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

During the past few weeks, the Israel forces have withdrawn by stages, their positions being taken over by the United Nations Emergency Force.

On 19th January the United Kingdom voted in favour of a Resolution which again called upon Israel to withdraw behind the armistice demarcation lines. In casting his vote my right hon. and gallant Friend made it clear that the withdrawal of the Israeli forces would leave certain serious problems which demanded solution and that, by insisting on the withdrawal of those forces, the United Nations had inevitably assumed a responsibility for dealing with those problems.

On 2nd February the United Kingdom voted for a further resolution calling upon Israel to withdraw. Again Her Majesty's Government made it clear in the debate that we did not regard such withdrawal as sufficient in itself. There must be further action to settle some of the problems of the area in the interests of peace and stability, a matter of concern to all the countries in the area. The Resolution of 2nd February was accompanied by another, complementary, Resolution. Most of the delegations, including most of the Commonwealth and that of the United States, made it clear that they regarded the two Resolutions as forming integral parts of a whole.

The second Resolution sought to focus attention on the need for constructive action, but its wording represented a compromise and it was important that it should command an effective majority. I do not conceal the fact that in our view it was not sufficiently precise. But this is the first Resolution giving some indication of a constructive approach. It does give the Secretary-General authority to take further practical steps along the lines of his latest report. As such we welcome it.

Both these Resolutions secured a two-thirds majority. It is now for the parties to co-operate with the Secretary-General in giving effect to them.

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